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Hopefully a simple question

  1. Feb 25, 2015 #1
    I have a very simply Physics question. When talking about the change in Potential Energy it is the Final value minus the initial value correct? That's the way we were taught the Work Energy Thereom but some of the online homework now seems to be subtracting the Final value from the Initial. Am I wrong in my original thinking? It has been awhile since the first part of Physics for me. Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 25, 2015 #2

    Bystander

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    That's the way I learned it.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2015 #3
    That would be the same then for Kinetic Energy as well?
     
  5. Feb 25, 2015 #4

    Bystander

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    When changing the state of a system, "Final minus Initial." Conventions on signs of particular "state functions/variables" can be somewhat muddled, but the changes themselves are "Final minus initial."
     
  6. Feb 25, 2015 #5

    blue_leaf77

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    Just make sure you have checked the used definition for the sign, such as implicitly assumed minus is translated mathematically to ## V = -|V| ##. Can't comment further unless you provide the online page you referred to.
     
  7. Feb 25, 2015 #6
    I see what you are saying, I should have thought of that myself. I'll check to see if that's what it was.
     
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